Noam Cohen, writing for the New York Times business section, is an exceedingly compassionate fellow. In his article recounting the meltdown of the proposed Fox News Democratic debate, he cites unnamed “analysts of the cable news world” who speculate as to the fallout from the Democrats’ impudence:
“On the one hand it feeds the image of Fox News as besieged by mainstream media outlets and political enemies, which plays well to its loyal audience.”
On the one hand, therefore, Fox is reveling in martyrdom. If these analysts are correct, then what would stop Fox from covertly sabotaging the debate or its participants in order to enhance its reputation with its loyal audience (and further its conservative agenda)? Isn’t that exactly why the Democrats stood against the Fox-sponsored event in the first place? And who are these analysts that would describe Fox News as “besieged by mainstream media outlets” as if they didn’t know that Fox News is itself one of the largest mainstream media outlets in the world? But that’s not all:
“Yet, these analysts said, being shut out of a debate denies the channel the ability to be above the fray and be perceived as a mainstream journalistic outlet.”
These analysts must be residents of the Washington Home for the Criminally Obtuse. How is Fox being denied the ability to shape how they are perceived? They have 24 hours a day to demonstrate that they can be above the fray. They have 365 days a year to behave the way a mainstream journalistic outlet is expected to behave. To suggest that all Fox really wants is a chance to prove that they can play well with others is to ignore their past performance on the playground where they unrepentantly engaged in blatant bullying and hostility. Peruse these examples from their Permanent Record:
- Anchor Brit Hume dismissively described Rep. John Murtha as senile.
- VP John Moody claims that terrorists are “thrilled” with the Democratic Congress.
- Bill O’Reilly accuses Democrats of wanting to lose the war in Iraq.
- Sean Hannity called for assassinating Nancy Pelosi to keep her from becoming speaker.
- Neil Cavuto asks if “Democratic leaders who criticize the war in Iraq [are] actually aiding the terrorists?”
- Chairman Rupert Murdoch admitted that he manipulates the news to shape public opinion.
If Fox can’t be trusted to be fair and/or balanced in the course of their daily pseudo-news gathering and reporting, why should they be rewarded with a high profile event that would convey onto them a respectability that they have not earned and do not deserve?